Say, did I mention that my guy won the Nobel Peace Prize? Well, yes, 90-year old Minnesota economist Leonid Hurwicz, of course. But alongside that, last Friday, I was totally jazzed by Al Gore’s big win. Finally, international affirmation for his lifetime of dedication to making peace with the planet. Vindication. Payback, fair and square. Oh, yeah, baby. Woo hoo!
Within nanoseconds of the Gore announcement, the punditry ratcheted up their “will he run, won’t he run?” speculation (okay, so did I). Also, a mighty wingnut projectile puke-a-thon commenced. Apparently the current twin mantras of the right are “Leave no child undamaged” (think Graeme Frost and SCHIP) and “Leave no one who makes Dubya look bad unsmeared.” The latter is a little tricky for them, since the numbers are so vast. Read more.
In this era of melting icecaps, I seem to have gone politically bi-polar. Hope and despair, duking it out, over and over again. I’ve heard it said that neocons traffic in despair. Probably so, since generally speaking, despair renders us mute. Oh, sure, there’s the occasional agonized scream. But otherwise, despair generates limp-limbed lethargy and darkly pessimistic thoughts. What could be more pleasing to Bush Republicans? Have I become a tool of the wingnuts?
No. No! NO!! You can’t have me! That distant, hopeful voice in the hidey-hole of my soul is demanding attention again. Jeez, what a pest. And so the cycle begins again.
Notice that earlier, I referenced “Bush Republicans.” I actually believe that some conservatives are not sycophantic, egocentric creatures. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. Remember that my children are conservative. It is a painful thing for me, but it is what it is (thanks, Charlene!). Lately – the last few days, in fact – I’ve been thinking about why it is that people opt for conservatism, Republicanism, even wingnuttery. I think I’ve figured it out.
It’s easy to be a conservative. It requires no effort. No effort at all. You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to be for anything. You need only be against things. Generally speaking, it doesn’t seem that conservatives concern themselves with defending, protecting, empowering anyone but their immediate circle. They are against government, against taxes, against immigration, adamantly opposed to taxes, non-traditional marriage, taxes, public education, taxes, ending the Iraq occupation, taxes, and they hate Al Gore. For starters.
You can be a conservative without ever leaving home – except to vote straight party ticket. You don’t have to formulate opinions nor defend those already formed. It is a fuzzy, tops-down, anti-liberal system that demands only loyalty. Where’s the harm in that? Isn’t loyalty a desirable trait? And what better way to demonstrate loyalty than to speak confidently, incessantly and in tandem about those damn do-gooder Democrats?
Well, enough of this. I am once again in search of hope. My friend Margaret knows where it is. I might ask her to take me there again.